Work from Home

2023 年 2 月 3 日 | DSE English

Owing to the threat of coronavirus, work from home has become a common practice for most companies. Some people even claim that it will develop into a dominant mode of working, instead of traditional work at the office.

Write an essay express your view on whether work at the office should be replaced by work from home.

Owing to highly contagious coronavirus, employees are arranged by their companies to work from home to avoid being infected. With the help of digital technology, subordinates in the home can somehow accomplish the tasks as efficiently as in the workplace. It seems like that this trend has probably developed into a new mode of working to replace the conventional way to work at office. Admittedly, as a contingency measure, work from home serves a good purpose. But it cannot last long to become a mainstream. Work at office exists for its own sake because there are a large array of benefits that work for home cannot generate otherwise.

Companies have difficulty monitoring the employers when they are working from home. In the office, superiors can keep a weather eye on what subordinates behave so that their performance is ensured to live up to companies’ expectation. In the home, any procrastination and periodic distraction go unchecked even though there are live cams acting as a ‘big brother’ to keep employees under surveillance. The extreme form is totally shirking and even off their duties at all. The incident happening to Hang Seng Bank is a case in point. A group of its management trainees were supposed to be working from home as part of company measures against the coronavirus outbreak. They flouted work from home rules to go hiking. This malpractice has aroused the public’s concerns and revealed the limitations of work from home in respect of management and supervision.

Work from home hampers communication between colleagues. In the absence of face-to-face interaction, employers cannot clearly read the facial expression of other collaborators, thereby making it easier to commit business mistakes. The lack of direct communication will also dampen the team spirit. The interactive atmosphere in the office will have forceful impacts on everyone, and therefore encourage them more active in participation. The feeling of isolation is much stronger for employees working from home as the arrangement keeps them estranged from other colleagues. A recent survey has documented that employees’ emotional instability is positively connected with working from home. The longer the time working from home, the more severe the misplaced anxiety employees suffer.

Perhaps some people might claim that to date there have been not much complaint about work from home in respect of feasibility and productivity. This reveals that it is a viable way to substitute work at office. However, the practice has been adopted only for a very brief time, and it may not be justified given the lapse of time. The confidentiality of business information is one of the concerns. When it comes to top secrets of the company, it is hard for its related work brought to home. Moreover, this decentralized way to work will also undermine the long-term integrity of the business, hindering all levels of company from heading for a common goal. As far as core business is concerned, work from home is not a preferred approach.

Technological advance has increased the chances of working from home and the way has proven its value and cost-effectiveness. But it is far from adequate to become a dominant mode of working. All we attempt to do is allow the parallel development of work from home and at office and strike a balance between them.